Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2384 ..
Of course we have some wonderful tenants. I would concur with the minister. I am a big fan, as he well knows, of the tenant of the month program. I believe that is a magnificent way of lifting and building the esteem of tenants. It is a great initiative.
Mr Stefaniak: The previous government started that. It is good that it is continuing.
MRS BURKE: That is right. My colleague Mr Stefaniak has just confirmed that the previous government established the tenant of the month scheme. Mr Stefaniak was the minister at the time. The people who receive that award make sure they tell me how well, and good, that makes them feel. Nevertheless, even some of the wonderful tenants I have mentioned tell me they feel like second-class citizens. This is not about pointing fingers at anybody; it is the reality, Minister-a reality within the department you must face and address. If people are feeling that way, they cannot all be wrong.
I will continue to work as much as possible with the minister and his department to bring about continual improvement in our public housing sector. I am extremely committed to this area. I have a passion for it and want to see it improved. We can have the best public housing system in Australia-why not?
Like most people, I have a query about the $10 million Treasurer's Advance. I would say that housing is now surely awash with cash. We seem to have had a dash for cash, but then we did not need it. What was the rush? I would ask that the minister now call on the Treasurer to say that we could utilise some of that money, as a matter or urgency, to be spent on the unmet needs I talked about earlier.
Proposed expenditure-part 1.16-Justice and Community Safety, $110,852,000 (net cost of outputs), $20,373,000 (capital injection) and $90,687,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $221,912,000.
MR STEFANIAK(10.43): Mr Speaker, I will speak generally to this part of the budget and I will also make some comments on the proposed amendment which my colleague Mr Smyth will move in relation to this line.
Mr Speaker, it is concerning that, again, we are seeing an example in this budget of the general theme of spending more and actually getting less. I recall that several years ago some crime prevention programs were launched. Indeed, in the previous year some 14 crime prevention programs were operating and I think the amount envisaged to be spent was $1.075 million. I also recall that not necessarily all the programs were completed or all of the money was spent, which is a bit of a pity and rather surprising from this government that makes a big issue of crime prevention, attacking the root causes of crime and the like.
There were some 14 programs and I am disappointed to see only 10 programs forecast for 2003-2004. The anticipated cost had increased to about $1.15 million, I think, for the present financial year. But next year the anticipated cost of 10 programs is about $8,000 more, I believe, than actually was spent this year. Effectively, the figure for 10 programs is the same as what was budgeted for 14 programs. One has to ask oneself: why is that so; why is effectively more money being spent for fewer programs? Indeed, that is very concerning.